By George Grace
I wonder if the people who own and work
the length and width of this land know that,
just beyond this forest’s embrace,
amidst the banal bales of hay dotting
the dark and matted farm fields here,
the forlorn beacon lighting the garage roof there,
the promise of art lives,
ten minutes after sunset,
a fleeting splendor in the ordinary,
imploring itinerant eyes to make it so.
I drove a thousand miles for a month’s work,
and with home six hundred away,
my tired heart yearned to have you beside me,
in this forsaken zip code,
the twilight cradling just enough color
to remind us of the road, the people, the day
we left behind.
When I stop to take photos
of places like these and you say,
yes, that’s a lovely scene, you should paint it,
you are my antidote to solitude.
Tomorrow, at dawn, I will likely leave
some paneled motel room
twenty dark and tortuous miles
north of this frozen moment,
head out into the fog-shrouded valleys
awash in the promise of spring’s light,
blessed that I didn’t miss this journey,
even if diminished for you not being here to tell me,
yes, it happened, and it was ours.
GEORGE GRACE will join poet and prose writer E.R. Baxter III in the next Readings at the RIC series event at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Research and Information Commons of Daemen College, 4380 Main St., Amherst. An artist and co-founder of Meridian West Gallery, he is the author of the poetry collections “American Stonehenge” and “Night Wanes, Dawn” (Writer’s Den Books, 2012). His latest book, “Steeling America – A Poetic Memoir of Lackawanna’s Bethlehem Steel Plant” was published earlier this month by Writer’s Den Books.